Twitter Paranoia

My New Avatar

OK, aliens are invading my twitter feed

Or, after reaching 5000 tweets ranging in topics from Eurovision’07 to Neil Finn Revival Meetings, my postings are swallowed by the great twitter engine. Does Ms Gale have a restraining order out on me? More likely Paul Foster’s mobile phone cost centre owner in the UK.

Maybe it’s the lolcat speak that confuses some, forcing them to reach out to the Urban Dictionary for translation.

Is it the weird 3rd circle of hell that is Ruby on Rail’s ActiveRecord outer and inner joins with time’d out queries so as to unburden the backend? Or are telcos putting limits on the twitter +44 mobile SMS gateway in Australia?

Who knows. It’s the Bermuda Triangle of Twitter. Conspiracy Theories abound.

(Thanks to @cait for the inspiration on this post)

Creating in SecondLife

Thanks to Uncle Dave Wallace (to the left), I now feel properly attired in SecondLife:


Hanging out on the The Podcast Network island, where the Australian Twitterarti drop in and out. Donated some money to Cameron so he’s not taking food from his family’s mouth to create a place to visit.

Duncan Riley from Techcrunch posted his thoughts on meeting in SecondLife, especially the new voice/talk interface and the intersection of methods of interacting with each other.

As I stated recently, I was wrong about SecondLife. It’s a social environment.

More experiments to come.

I was wrong about SecondLife

Last night, a bunch of Aussies met up in SecondLife at the home of Cameron Reilly. Cam owns The Podcast Network, and is always good for a chat.

As a SecondLife n00b, I really hadn’t anywhere to "call home", and the constant typing of conversation left me cold. Heck, I can type and converse in Twitter.

As SecondLife have the voice-chat enabled, suddenly the concept changed. You could sit and converse (or in my case listen, then crash out) with people.

The rebirth of 3D worlds as an immersive social engine might be just around the corner?

Social Networking: People, not Messages


What is the Web 2.0 World Saying about you, now?

I strongly recommend any Marketing/PR person just starting out to download and install Particls: You can use Particls to watch the internet for you. Enter the phrases and words that are your products and brands, and watch the conversation that ensues.

It is wise to start your online journey by engaging the existing conversations and existing communities, rather than attempting to start your own lonely blog and talk to noone.


Social Networking use by Marketing/PR

Social network using MySpace/Facebook/MSN Live/Linkedin/Bebo etc etc etc is a perfect mechanism for creating a community; and more importantly: staying connected.

Note that people are largely engaged in these communities for personal social reasons, not to have a product shoved down their throat. The rule of authentic voice applies.


SecondLife use by Marketing/PR:

Know who and where of your audience. Despite heavy hype in the traditional media, the number of people logged in to SecondLife always seems low. (25000 to 40000)

There is something enticing about a completely immersive 3D world, where in a dream-like state you can fly anywhere and build anything. It demos well, and the allure of “instant millions” attracted a certain “type” of initial user.

The web was like this in 1994/5. Not much out there, much hype and a limited few had the hardware and ‘bandwidth’ to participate. I would highly recommend doing deep research prior to significant investment.

Fully immersive worlds such as World-of-Warcraft (note: you probably cannot market here) are very successful; and the future of end-user generated immersive worlds is large.


Twitter use by Marketing/PR:

@Froosh expressed it best: Twitter is micro-blogging: thoughts in 140 characters. It is also more instant. What is happening now.  An organisation’s existing blog strategy should also cover Twitter.

Running 2 bots ( and and an event alias ( my assessment is that Twitterers are looking for real people, not chat bots at the other end of the line. Twitterspam such as “go visit this link” and the like causes mass unsubscribes. “Our product x is now shipping” the same.

What the Twitter-verse is looking for is the instant human reaction and feeling from events that precedes the formal cycle.

So, just Twittering to get a “message through” or hype a product/event does not work. What is needed is an authentic, honest voice of a real person. It is part of your Word-of-mouth, viral strategy.


In a Write/ReWrite/Read Web, People matter. Not Messages

Blue Day, Melbourne

Blue Day means a clear day. I could see the sky. After leaving a dark and rainy Sydney, 4degC Melbourne was a rude surprise.

Up at 4:00am. A cat wandered out, stretched and looked at me quizzically seemingly asking : “WTF?”

Lovely Blue day in Melbourne

After checking the online world, my new residence, drive off to the airport. Megan’s battery is stuffed. Oh well, time to jump in the other MINI (Scarlett) and off.

Virgin Blue to Melbourne left only 10 minutes late due to Melbourne being fogged in. The in-flight magazine “Voyeur” has a one-page article on Social Networking. LOL. It’s mainstream now.

On the panel

There are two reasons for being in Melbourne: PR Summit run by Frocomm. I am a panelist along with Marilyn Chalkley, Manager, CSIRO Media Liaison and Andrew Parsons, Director, Production and Digital Communications, Department of Immigration and Citizenship. My title merely said “Professional Geek”

(for those watching my Twitter: here is the real Air guitar Youtube: Dr Richard Helmer’s Every wanna be rocker’s dream come true)

The session prior to the panel was by Abigail Thomas from the ABC. Abigail talked about ABC’s SecondLife island.

So, the panel was interesting. There is a big gap of experience and understanding of the “online native” world. Just podcasting a Press Release will not cut it for Podcasters and Bloggers. Creating a SecondLife island will cost, and attract 3 dogs and maybe a man (as much as I technically love SecondLife, we have yet to see the future)

My opinion on this in a forthcoming post.

Interestingly, the recent experience of Cameron Reilly, Twitterarti (including myself, I admit) and Telstra was mentioned in almost passing. Dr Hugh Bradlow from Telstra’s response is an excellent step into the conversation.

Had a break-chat with Gabriella Stern, Senior Editor from Dow Jones Newswires Singapore. Chat was about Journalism in this new online world we find ourselves. Enron, Stock Option Repricing and all sorts of discussion around blogging and journalists. After watching the PBS documentary, Newswar, it was enlightening. One part of our discussion related to the “mainstream media” and bloggers working together.

On the subject of the famous (The Bulletin famous) Cameron.

So, I have a few hours to kill. Twitter-friend Andrew Barnett was in the Melbourne CBD. After consulting a map of Melbourne streets, I navigated my way to Starbucks on the corner of Bourke and Queen street. Twitter’d to all that I was there, ready for anything.

Anything happened. Cameron Reilly popped in for a few moments. Later, Froosh and Andrew Barnett popped in for a chat on life, universe, weddings, parties and anything.

Upon returning to the impromptu Twitter meetup, Cameron derided me for my choice of corporate-coffee and insisted we move to Nick’s on Little Bourke Street. Let me say, it’s my new Melbourne food joint of choice. We are joined by new Twitter-friend, Garth.

So, off we trot to Nick’s.

Cameron Reilly

Cameron interviews us all on Twitter: questions related to how it has changed our blogging; general Twitter stories and if corporations should “adopt” Twitter.

@Froosh, @garthk, @andrewnbarnett

My opinion on this in a forthcoming post. Same post as above as the topic inter-connects.

Transport in Melbourne 2007

Taxi, Jetstar, Sydney, Home. Cat looks at me completely refreshed. I write this blog with the cat asleep. Oh for the cat’s life.

Melbourne was beautifally blue today. Cat missed that.

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

Sydney Twitter Meetup, 25th July 2007

All tagged Flickr photos here:

My First iPhone

Thanks to for organising us twitter-erz to actually get off our keypads/keyboards and have a meatspace meetup. Subscribe to for more info.

So, and myself now have the responsibility to organise the next meetup. 3 blokes doing it is dangerous.

Also, thanks to our sponsors for sponsoring.

Twitter @-sign-fu

OK, is the rage of the first half of 2007. Maybe hits the same growth rate for the second half of 2007. Who knows with this fickle world of social networking.

The “@”-sign is used to respond to people on twitter, and is completely user-invented:

That is, if you write “@nickhodge blah blah blah”, there is a magic URL added to nickhodge.

Now, this message is sent to the public, but only friends of @nickhodge and you see the response. That is, if person-y is your friend and not nickhodge, they will not see your @nickhodge response.

Technorati Tags: